Matt Csakai | Echo
The men's and women's golf teams are getting back in action shortly, and they are ready and raring to go. To get ready for the season, both teams have focused on chasing their dreams of repeating as conference champions.
The teams have read the book "Chase the Lion" by Mark Batterson, which talks about how one needs to have a growth mindset in everything that one does.
"In this game, you can look like a fool easily, but failure is okay and a part of growth," said men's and women's head coach Cam Andry. "It either tells you you're not good enough, or not good enough yet."
Both teams have the lofty goal of not only wanting to repeat as conference champions, but also wanting to go to and win at nationals.
According to Dutkowski, the team goal is to play hard, get better everyday and get to a place where they are always in contention on the back nine.
The men's spring season started this week, as they went down to San Antonio for the San Antonio Shootout, taking 4th place out of 14 teams. The season ramps up in late March, starting March 23, so practicing and meetings will go on from now until then.
The women's spring season begins the same day, playing in Noblesville, Indiana, in the Purgatory Intercollegiate Tournament. Senior Grace Elenbaas said both teams have been practicing often and meeting every Tuesday and Thursday.
Even with this preparation, there is still work that needs to be done for this spring season.
"We need to get acclimated to a different season entirely from the fall one; we have to be prepared for some rainy, cold weather and need to shake off the rust from the winter," Andry said.
Elenbaas and Dutkowski both raved about how well their teams play together, as well as how well they get along off the course.
Dutkowski emphasized how the team does not have one particular leader, and the team feeds off each other not only during play but in their personal lives as well.
According to Dutkowski, their one freshman this year fits in well with the other guys in the program. The women's team, on the other hand, have five freshmen this year, and all are big contributors already in their careers.
"They have good golf technique, good golf knowledge and leadership," Elenbaas said. "They're really great people, and they fit in as a team so well."
Even more important than their play, they have to focus even more on things outside of the game of golf.
Andry said the team wants to first love the Lord, then love each other as teammates, then love the game.
This is how they plan to play this season: with more focus on caring about each other than caring about the game. This will still be important, though, as their goals of play are not small; to go to nationals and compete is a high goal to achieve, but with their hard work, they can accomplish this.
"Photograph provided by Cam Andry"